Episode-1368- Listener Feedback and PermaEthos Updates 6-16-14 — 47 Comments

  1. Hey Jack. I think you may put cut in the worng espisole. After the permaethos update, it seems to go to an old espisole.

    • FING F! Anyway fixing it now, I will post about the F-up when I get it fixed, you may have to delete and redownload etc. to get the right episode.

    • hehe I was going to ask the same thing, I was thinking maybe he was making another point and was going to listen to it all to make sure before I asked

  2. My thoughts are that to get to an anarchist and non aggression principle driven society we must raise our children with the non aggression principle and to educate others.

    I think find the best way to explain how an anarchist society would work on any topic is to ask two questions:

    1. How does it work in the current system?
    2. How would you or society go about doing it without government.

    • I think you’d have to get to a tipping point of mature, responsible people working for for beneficial coexistence solutions. Maybe energy descent or food scarcity gets us there as the problem solvers may be more likely to have generational continuity, if they fend off the scavenger crowd by out populating or winning them over. I could say look for a pattern in nature but human nature seems to be a whole other animal. Hubris, caprice and avarice are the enemy.

  3. Jack, stop predicting stuff… really dude, you’re screwing everything by being right all the time… Or at least start predicting something more cheerful!

  4. Jack, your description of the college experience was spot on! I couldn’t wait to get out of college and looking back, I wish I had just entered the workforce after high school or attended a vocational type college. I graduated with a BA in Political Science and was qualified to do NOTHING.

    • I’ve got to be honest, I loved my college experience right up to my last year, when I realized it was all bullshit. And while I definitely did partake of the party life to a degree, but my studies never suffered on that account. I enjoyed the regular conversations and debates with other semi-informed (albeit misguided) adults. And I thrived in the scholastic atmosphere. While I don’t know that I’d do it the same way again, and I know I’d definitely not recommend my path to others, I have to imagine my college experience was of greater benefit to me than just a degree. Had I done college online, I doubt I’d feel the same about it.

  5. Swiss companies have an apprentice program for student right out of vocational or high school. I met a buyer of cotton for a Swiss company. Very bright young woman with a good position in her company. Her ‘college’ education had been sponsored and guided by her company once she got on a career path with them. Her formal education ended with high school. She explained that apprenticeship was pretty much the norm for Swiss student, except those going into medical, law, or academia.

    • That sounds like a much more rational educational system. Sure beats wasting four years falling asleep in “The History of Jazz” type classes and graduating not even having the qualifications to be a secretary. I knew people from high school who just worked those four years and were light years ahead of the college crowd in terms of work experience and financially -buying their first homes before age 30. Of course, some caught up years later and four year college is beneficial to many, but it isn’t the best thing for everyone and it certainly is a huge financial burden. I just wasn’t a sit in a chair type learner – I learned by doing.

  6. Jack, I was recently hired for a “good job with benefits”. We had our 401K meeting last week. It was all smooth sailing until I asked what our ” safe” option was…
    I wish I could share with you the look on the Fidelity salesman’s face when I said, “You mean to tell me that my safe option is to buy debt from an insolvent nation?!”
    You could’ve heard a pin drop, until he asked what I meant by insolvent. Then my direct supervisor started laughing. It was classic. Also, my company no longer has employees opt into the 401K, you have to opt out instead.

  7. Little House in the Big Woods is a good book. Kids hated it at first, my 3rd grader liked her summer reading homework. She was telling me, Paw had to make his own bullets last night.

  8. LOL Jack you make me laugh out loud sometimes…when you said it’s almost like I’m paying attention to what’s going on out there damn near made me spit beer on my keyboard LOL!

  9. On the GMO story..

    The funniest thing in the ‘industry claims’ is calling a labeling requirement a ‘speech RESTRICTION’.

    Technically this is true, as one definition of restriction is ‘a limiting condition or measure’.. and they are being LIMITED from NOT telling people that their food contains poison.

    • Jack, let the free market decide! If only the label said if GMOs were contained, right? Why isn’t the market overrun with “GMO-free” labels?

      We’re being played bc that label’s price is jacked up. Subsidies and mega-corp sizes give them lots of levers to play both ends.

      • Why are we not bombarded with GMO free labels. Seriously is that a real question? Let me explain it if so, go down the chip isle in your market and you will see the “illusion of choice”. A hundred plus varieties, well try turning all those bags around, when you are at the end of the isle tell me how many companies there are in that one massive isle with a hundred “choices” and keep going isle by isle and please realize all the store brands are white labeled major brands. Why are we not bombarded by GMO free labels, because everything with corn, soy or cotton in it IS GMO.

        Mike I think if you really take an hour to go to a major super market and in category find the total number of companies you will be shocked. You will find 1-3 smaller independent companies in each category, but they will take up LESS THAN 10% of the shelf space.

        Now the kicker or should I say kick in the balls! If it says organic the producer can not by law put “Does Not Contain GMO” on it. Since organic is already assumed to be GMO free your big companies have successfully lobbied to prevent GMO Free from being on any organic label because it could damage ALL GMO LABELS, got that?

        So let us all do another common core logic problem together, if 95% of the stuff in the market is big food with GMO, 1% is not organic but small companies playing in big food space and 4% is organic and can’t use the “No GMO” label how many no GMO labels should we expect to see in mega marts?

        • Jack, I just found 4 items in my cupboard that boast “Organic ___” and have a badge that says “NON GMO Project” on them. So I’m sure you’re right that the badge had to step into a void left by lobbyists, but the fact remains that, if one is willing to pay a little more the non-GMO option (right there on the label), is available to them.

          The issue, as I see it, is that I can convince my wife that if it has corn or other GMO in it then it is not to be considered food for our family, but I cannot convince her sister to do the same for her family of 6. The sister astutely calculates that the change would add >$300 per month to her food budget (plus, a loss of convenience in shopping and prep), and for what? Conversations about it impart stress that I’m calling her a bad mother, so the sand looks like a better place for her head. The husband think I’m a sucker for paying more for the same-looking stuff. “We’re fine so far eating that ‘poison’, ha-ha.”

          So how do we get non-GMO over the tipping point? Overhaul the Farm Bill to get rid of the subsidies? Help fund independent studies that test GMO effects?

        • Interesting void, wonder how long before they are successfully sued?

          I am a realist, when will subsidies vanish, NOT IN OUR LIFETIME, no way unless we economically collapse and sadly that will likely increase them with the new monopoly money anyway.

          This is why GMO labels are our best bet! There is no other solution in the current climate with as much momentum and as much chance of success. Sadly many that call themselves libertarians don’t get that and are aligning with their own enemies here.

      • I can’t totally disagree with the sentiment.

        The interesting thing is that generally, the only reason the government decides that some sort of labeling should be REQUIRED is because they’ve determined that there is in fact a serious issue with the ingredient.

        Basically its a CYA move so when people start showing up with tumors or cancers you can say ‘ was right there on the label, you freely chose to ingest it!’

        As for ‘no GMOs’ on labels, I see it all the time on high quality products. So if GMO concerns reached the same level of say gluten, the market would just take care of it.

        The weird one is derivative products, where the GMO is not being directly included, but a component is (chemically) derived from a GMO.

        The ultimate answer of course is taking personal control of your food sovereignty. Anything that touches the industrial food system is automatically suspect.

        • Here is the thing you say you “see it all the time” well you must be in a Whole Foods or something like that then. The major markets are totally devoid of it. I see it on my chicken feed bag but it took a shit load of work to find Non GMO without going full “organic”.

          You’re a thinker so think, by making it ILLEGAL to use Non GMO etc on any and all products labeled “Organic” they have pushed the label into a fraction of a fraction of a niche and given you the illusion of a free market.

          Manufacturer A is going to make a “healthy product” and explores Non GMO or Organic. Since he isn’t growing the shit, just buying it he looks for ingredients. The GOVERNMENT owns the organic label and has successfully USED OUR MONEY to market to us that Organic is healthy (sort of true), good for the environment (a complete lie) and devoid of toxins (a half truth since it has a lot less). Manufacturer A now discovers that when he sources ingredients if he is going to use corn, cotton, canola or soy and quite a few other things finding Non GMO is all but impossible unless he buys organic.

          Once our friend Manufacturer A does that he can now put the vaulted “Certified Organic” label on his food OR he can put “No GMO” but he can’t put both. As the Organic Label is heavily marketed with OUR MONEY back to US by the minions of head gangster Ira Ramone Sancia (IRS) and always will be, what label is he going to use from a purely business decision?

          The no GMO labels come into a very small niche. Companies small enough to work with people like Whole Foods, Spouts, etc that are not organic but simply use ingredients that are not yet GMO like say Wheat.

          These 50 companies own the food market in the US, quite a few are also owned by a single larger entity which controls them. If you start breaking them into dairy, meat, snack foods, etc. you find 2-4 control 90% of each category. They are all wrapped up in guilds with Monsanto, Conagra, etc.

          It is all bullshit and the truth is hidden from the public. I also disagree with this totally which is rare with you man, “The interesting thing is that generally, the only reason the government decides that some sort of labeling should be REQUIRED is because they’ve determined that there is in fact a serious issue with the ingredient.”

          Sorry man, that is completely wrong! The only reason labels were started was the “illusion of protection by government” but government doesn’t write law corporations write law, government just passes it. As to why some stuff gets added when it does become clearly a danger, well it is simply that at times the peasants won’t shut up and demand it so much it is easier to comply with them and send them back to the tax mines with a minor victory then to continue to fight them off.

  10. I hope you’re right about the GMO label bringing an end to the GMO crops, I don’t think GMO corn is well corn!
    It worked with crayons there used to be lead in them and when people screamed their kids were getting sick from them they took the lead out, it might not be a great comparison but it’s not that different

  11. Not only has every President done worse things to the country, but they have all gotten richer than their wildest dreams after they leave office, Clinton has made over 100 million dollars just for making speeches since he left office

  12. Jack, the link to Living Off grid is illegal is still broken.

    PS. Jack’s links being broken makes me think of Bigfoot. Mass marketing of beef jerky reminds me to make some biltong instead.

  13. ROFL… I was wondering why the download was 3 hours, then while listening to it I was like “I think I’ve heard this before…and it does not match show notes” 😛

  14. Jack, on the gmo labeling required in Vermont; although grew up on/partially operate a corn/soybean farm and personally don’t have any issues with gmo technology, I agree whole heartily that a gmo label should happen given the system we have today.

  15. Jack,
    You’re totally wrong on the cupcake issue.
    You MUST obtain a legal document made of special paper and ink and hang it on the wall to “sterilize” the home the cupcakes are being made in. –AND, you MUST also rid your home of as many germs as possible by removing filthy dollar bills and send them to the government.

    “Let them eat cake… as long as they pay us for the privilage.” 😉

  16. Jack,
    I thought your take on what the future of college will be is spot on. You thought maybe COSTCO may be a prime example of companies leading the way with training their employees with the exact skillset they needed. I am here to report that my company has already begun this, I work for one of the two big wireless/wireline companies in America, we will call the corp big blue. Big blue has it’s own internal university and is now partnering with Georgia Tech and paying for any employee to attend online to get a specific degree in areas like computer science, web design, etc. Big blue is putting a massive push behind what they are calling workforce 2020 and really stressing how we all need to evolve with technology. So once again you are right on target.

  17. How an Anarchist Society Worked

    Well… this turned into a much longer post than I expected. Let me get to the bottom line first. The first organized anarchy in history can be found in the Bible. (See the Book of Judges.) It worked, sort of, for a while but their were problems. (See below). The US Constitution is organized anarchy but you aren’t going to get anyone to follow it because they don’t have the background to understand it. That is how Nancy Pelosi is able to get away saying to foolish things she does because the public, mostly, does not understand the basics and all of us yelling at them won’t help. It’s going to take some real education to give them the framework to understand the Constitution and it’s not going to happen overnight.

    OK… that’s my bottom line. Now I’ll say it all again with a lot more words…

    There is an historical example of a anarchist society that worked for a time and worked well. They were the Hebrews after the Exodus and before King Saul was selected by lot. That society depended largely on tribal associations and a general set of rules. The society at that time was described thus…

    “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. ” — Judges 17:6

    How did that work out? It worked but not too well. The people seemed to fall away from the rules set out at the founding and made up their own rules. Some of those rules conflicted greatly with their neighbors and in a time of threat, there was disunity.

    Judges rose up and decided on matters that were too difficult for an individual or that concerned cross-tribal responsibilities or interests. These were charismatic leaders, but they only acted when called upon…. usually when some neighboring tribe attacked. Then the Judge would organize the response. In one case Judge Deborah offered to lead the attack since everyone else seemed disinclined to go unless she led the charge. Thus she took credit for the win and the enemy was delivered “into the hand of a woman.” It was a little embarrassing for the guys.

    Eventually, these tribes would call upon the Prophet Samuel to select a King so that the tribes could be “like other peoples” and so the King could “fight their battles.” They gave up their personal responsibility.

    In the end, the organized anarchy succumbed to laziness. What did God think? He said He was disappointed in the people that they had given up on God, but He would allow it and King Saul was selected by lot. He got the short straw so to speak. Nevertheless, King Saul plowed his own fields and like a judge, only acted when called upon to act. Although King Saul was a grumpy guy who often didn’t follow the rules, he wasn’t terrible either. It was probably King Solomon who ended his kingship becoming a bit of a fool and caused damage to the kingship and his son sealed the deal and turned the kingship into the travesty that it became.

    Thus anarchy failed not because of the people who implemented it, though they had their issues, but rather it failed because their children could not maintain it.

    These groups were following what we would call a “military discipline” and in fact many of the terms we use today come from those military-style groups although the words have lost their military meaning and have morphed into religious meanings:

    Holy, Holiness (kadosh): a separation or a separate battlement apart from the main fortress. An outside rampart. Barbed wire obstacle.

    East, Eastward [the direction toward which you pray] (kadam): – An early morning raid. A preemptive attack.

    Good deed (mitzvah): an order given to a group of soldiers numbering 1,000 or more. Related words: Commander of a battalion of soldiers and the battalion itself.

    The Constitution of the United States, if followed reasonably, is organized anarchy. It sets out the limits of an organizing body and pretty much lets the rest of it fly. Does anyone follow that set of general rules today? No. They don’t and they won’t because the Constitution is no longer taught. It’s not even taught as well as it was when I was a kid and that was fairly poor teaching.

    So… I’d say the first goal is to teach the Constitution and why we should follow it. I dare say that the first effort will be fruitless unless one also has a good background in the Bible and that in itself will be tough going even for Christians.

    I remember my daughter (Jewish) in middle school being taught religion as a history lesson. I was a little miffed that they were lumping the Jews into the same chapter as the Phoneticians, but I was OK with it. This is how it went… the Jews went here, the Jews went there… Mount Sinai… King David… done. No philosophy. Just basic, bare bones outline of history like one would expect.

    Then came an entire chapter of Christianity. They did NOT treat this like history. Instead they were talking about the Eucharist, turning wine into blood, raising of the dead. My kids came home wide-eyed thinking “Dawn of the Dead” was coming any day now. These are tough concepts to teach a kid. At least my kids had some background (albeit a Jewish background). I can’t imagine what the other kids were going through. The teacher had to go over the chapter twice and even the Christian kids didn’t get it.

    Why didn’t the kids understand? Presumably most of them were Christians. Right? They must have heard some of this as they went to church. Right?


    They had never been taught their own religion in a comprehensive manner as one might learn it in school. They didn’t understand how to apply what they had learned in any practical sense. They couldn’t see how many of these ideas might apply to them directly. They ZONED OUT ON SUNDAY…. apparently. That’s not a criticism. Most kids zone out, but teaching religious basics needs to be systematic. Don’t assume. At the least such a background in religious subjects will help your kids recognize when they are being scammed by some holy roller on TV! So… its important to learn even if you are an atheist.

    Regarding the Constitution, don’t assume that simply because everyone is an American and they know that there is a Constitution out there that they have ANY IDEA WHATSOEVER how it applies to them. You are going to have to teach them and it will have to start WAY BACK in the curriculum… like when they are kiddies… to give them a framework on which to hang many of these complex ideas that come from the Constitution. (And in case anyone has any doubt, that must include some working knowledge of the Bible).

    This is not an attempt to proselytize. I don’t give a crap. Do what you want or do nothing at all regarding religion. I care a little bit but frankly, I don’t care enough to talk you guys into anything. I’m just saying that if you don’t understand how the system works at its foundation, your building is going to collapse. That foundation is the Bible, Roman Law and British Common Law.

    That’s just my opinion… obviously. I’m the one who said it.

    Alex Shrugged

    • Good stuff, there are other examples in history.

      These include Siberia during Stalin. Entire towns self organized out of dissidents that instead of sentenced to gulags were just dropped off and left to die. They did really well until later the government showed up to help.

      Iceland also had what best could be called an anarchist society for quite a long while.

      My view is most egalitarian tribal societies were largely anarchist. Many such though eventually evolved into larger governed communities.

  18. Rereading my posting on anarchy I see a contradiction. The first organized anarchy worked well at first… that is… the first generation. Thereafter it didn’t work too well because everyone was dependent on their own individual interpretation of the rules and a knowledge of the rules was necessarily incomplete in the following generations for various reasons I won’t go into here.

    This applies to the understanding of the Constitution as well. The Framers and frankly, the people of the United States at the time, were amazing well versed in the law and its background. To understand how well versed, read the book…

    “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788” by Pauline Maier.

    Frankly…. any idiot in the 13 colonies could run rings around just about any pundit on CNN or Fox News today.

    • I also think we should be looking at the advancements in communication and technology. Would an anarchist society only last a single generation now? Would one last even that long?
      The fact that Jack Spirko can reach out daily to such a broad audience across the world from the chair in his home for example.

    • I’m saying that whatever we do it has to be baked into the curriculum. As the history segments get closer to modern times, you’ll begin to see a trend and if you are like me you will be horrified. There is a VERY GOOD REASON we are delving into the Middle Ages right now. When we say “The more things change the more they stay the same” you will understand how frighteningly true that is.

      Have a nice day. 🙂

  19. The only way I could see an anarchist society working long term is if we were to invent ‘Gort’.

    The rationale:
    At some point, individuals or groups of individuals will commit crimes (theft, assault, murder). While individuals COULD band together to resist these crimes, without some formal framework of law, things quickly become very confused vis-a-vis who is the aggressor (Are you assaulting him or defending yourself? Was it murder or self-defense?).

    And there is also the issue of ‘raiding parties’ (1% of the population are estimated to be psychopaths). If you have groups forming to rob/murder/rape, that are moving in and out of ‘your territory’ at some point you decide that you need to have some community members be permanently ‘on guard’ so everyone else can get back to work. Taxes for the defenders start voluntarily.. but.. we know where that goes. You could of course rotate the defense duties within the community, but, as with all things voluntary, that requires a high level of self-efficacy on the part of the community members.

    To make it work, the belief system of EVERYONE would need to be radically different than it is today. They would have to see EVERYONE as US, and feel that WE was as important as I.. which of course sounds exactly the opposite of what people generally think of as anarchism.

    Maybe if we met an alien species, this would cause us to realize that US is humans, and THEM is aliens.. but then of course we’d start clamoring for a big government/defense program to deal with the ‘alien threat’.. 😉

  20. Jack,
    You crack me up when you snap that gasket of yours, but it is all true. Dorothy, you Cookie and I have to go out to that Sushi place I told you guys about so we can all relax 😉

  21. Also on anarchism..

    You can have pockets of anarchism. But if you’re anarchistic, people are free to form their own groups, and likely will.

    (You can’t be anarchistic and make it ‘illegal’ to form groups)

    These groups could of course independently decide to annex nearby areas/persons.

    A group could be an extended family, a tribe, a gang or a ‘government’ (‘fancy’ gang).

    If you’ve read ‘Snow Crash’, you have an idea of what this might look like.

    ‘Anarchy, State & Utopia’ also has some interesting ideas on ‘competing utopias’.

  22. Hey Jack,
    Your favorite Gary Vaynerchuk impersonator here (I embrase this.)

    Do you know how much experience they are wanting for the tenant farmer job at permaethos?? I just applied for the position as well as the wwoopf opportunity. Pretty excited about it.

    Thanks for everything you do!

  23. I recently (re-)read the Little House series, and it’s amazing to learn how they lived. Everything from describing how they do everyday things to the severe hardships they went through in The Long Winter. On the anti-government theme, here’s an excerpt from The Long Winter, Three Days’ Blizzard chapter (apologies for the wall of text):

    “Almanzo looked at it this way: the Government wanted this land settled; Uncle Sam would give a farm to any man who had the nerve and muscle to come out here and break the sod and stick to the job till it was done. But the politicians far away in Washington could not know the settlers so they must make rules to regulate them and one rule was that a homesteader must be twenty-one years old.

    None of the rules worked as they were intended to. Almanzo knew that men were making good wages by filing claims that fitted all the legal rules and then handing over the land to the rich men who paid their wages. Everywhere, men were stealing the land and doing it according to all the rules. But of all the homestead laws Almanzo thought that the most foolish was the law about a settler’s age.

    Anybody knew that no two men were alike. You could measure cloth with a yardstick, or distance by miles, but you could not lump men together and measure them by any rule. Brains and character did not depend on anything but the man himself. Some men did not have the sense at sixty that some had at sixteen. And Almanzo considered that he was as good, any day, as any man twenty-one years old.”

    The best part about these books – 8/9 of them are in public domain! I’ve zipped those files together, which can be downloaded here (and I completely understand if you don’t trust some random link). The metadata file is generated by the program Calibre, which I highly recommend for ebook organization.

  24. Regarding the anarchist society, my research into the origins of agriculture point to less violent and more fulfilling daily lives of hunter/gatherers. Whether that is from lack of good evidence, people being in small groups with plenty to keep them healthy and busy or the risk/reward of conflict being too great I can’t say for sure. I would say that the concentration of power gradually arose as cereal grains and domestic stock became the norm allowing a household to gather an entire year of food reserve in a few weeks and led to city states. This is seen specifically in the Levant (fertile Crescent) where Natufian culture transitioned into proto-historical societies. Economics, hierarchy and military endeavors ensued as opportunity opened. Agriculture doesn’t look like a genius invention but an act of desperation from the start. Grow grain, grow power, collapse the soil and ecosystem, fight for more territory. Sounds like modern day energy economy, a catch 22. Research around Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and another paleo culture from Czech Republic to Georgia reveal pretty advanced prehistoric anarchical civilizations. I like Alex’s points on the generational cycle, something I always noticed in the Bible and people in general. Good people often have crap kids or grandkids. I do lean more toward Josiah’s views with tech and education as tools we’ve never had at our disposal and this critical place in history where we’ve maxed our credit with the planet. Ag and tech are a double edge sword. The future is wild.